It’s February, the month we celebrate love, relationships, and even friendships. It’s also the perfect time to perform a little self-reflection. After all, for any relationship to work well, it takes two or more individuals, including you, having a sense of who you are and committing to being respectful, open and honest with each other.
Now, with that being said, have you ever been in a relationship, romantic or otherwise, where it seems you’re constantly having to bend over backwards, trying to be someone you’re not? How about that unsettling feeling you get whenever you’re with a certain group of people, that you know full well comes from the fact that there’s just no chemistry there. Still, for whatever reason, you feel compelled to fit in, so you grin and bear the discomfort, sometimes even to the point of stifling your opinions simply to avoid being disliked or seen as the odd man or woman out.
And how do you fess up to that little untruth you told at the start of a new relationship that has now blossomed into a full-blown alternate reality that you have come to realize requires way too much time and effort just trying to keep the events straight in your head? Now you’re at the point where you fear the other person in the relationship will definitely not like the “real” you. What do you do then?
Believe me, if for you any of these scenarios are true, I’ve got news for you. You aren’t fooling anyone but yourself! If you’re constantly lying to yourself and others about who you are, that sends a message that maybe you cannot be trusted.
So here are a few tips on how to avoid unhealthy relationships where you feel like you’re being forced to be someone that you’re not.
- Trust Your Instincts:
We all possess that little thing called instinct, intuition, gut feelings, same meaning, different word. We’ve all gotten that little tug in the gut that sometimes subtly warns us when we meet someone, that there is something about this person’s character that’s just not in keeping with your own values and temperament. Well, I have learned to trust my instincts, and now I seriously consider whether forming a bond with these people would be worthwhile. If you do decide to go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt, as we’re often inclined to do, and it does turn out that your intuition was right all along, don’t be afraid to get out.
- Stay True to Yourself:
It is never a good idea trying to be someone that you’re not and it’s never healthy being in a relationship where instead of being true to yourself, you’re always acting in a way that you think the other person(s) in the relationship would expect you to behave. This is not only exhausting, it’s totally unsustainable. The flip side of this is also true. If you are being true to yourself and your values and still you are not being accepted for who you are, then this too is not an ideal relationship.
- Speak Up
Let’s face it, some relationships just cannot be avoided. Sometimes it’s a family member or acquaintances at work and there is just no way of getting around communicating with them on a regular basis. In these situations, it helps to stop worrying about being liked or disliked and instead stand up and boldly voice your opinion. It’s okay to disagree. Sometimes the best ideas and solutions originate when there are differing opinions that force us to analyze the available alternatives and choose the best one or come up with an entirely new and better solution.
- Reflect Upon Yourself
Whenever I’m in a disagreement with someone, I always look at myself first. If you’re in a group with two a more people and the common denominator in all or most disagreements, is you, then I would say there’s a great possibility that you or your personality might be the issue here. If you find that is the case, then maybe it’s time to do some soul searching and maybe even start looking externally for some self-improvement ideas and techniques.
Never compromise yourself, your values or your mental well-being for any relationship. Always remember life is so much easier just being yourself!
Stay tuned, Sincerely Jan!
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